Having your car towed can ruin anyone’s day, not to mention the hole getting burnt straight through your pocket. But there are laws to protect you from the nightmare of being towed. This guide will look through the more common protective laws in the United States. This guide will also provide you with some tips to not getting towed. None of this information makes your car un-towable, but it will help.
When can your Car be Towed?
If parked on private property, the property owner can have your vehicle removed in the following circumstances. First, if there is NO PARKING sign that also contains contact information for the company being used to tow your car. Second, if the vehicle has received a notification of their violation within 96 hours. And finally, if the car is lacking in any of the major equipment required for driving on the highway, including but not limited to doors, windshield, and wheels. Then, the owner of the property must also give the towing company written authorization to remove the vehicle from the premises.
What if your Car is Illegally Towed?
If the fault is with the person who had your vehicle towed, they may have to pay twice the towing fees. But if the fault is with the towing company, then they may be liable for up to four times the towing fees, as well as a misdemeanor.
Where can your Car be Taken?
The towed vehicle cannot be taken to a location more than 10 miles away from where the vehicle was originally parked.
What if your Car is Damaged?
If your car is purposefully damaged, or damaged due to negligence during the towing, you can get reimbursed to the cost of fixing your car. Some damages to your car may not be visible at first glance, so check with your auto-mechanic after getting your vehicle back. Some of this damage includes the way your car was towed. When towing a car, the drive wheels must be lifted off the ground, or it may cause considerable damage. So if you have a 4-wheel or all wheel drive vehicle, all four wheels must be lifted off the ground.
What if you Catch them before they Tow your Car?
If you find that your car has not yet been hooked up, you can drive away from them. But if the truck got you out of an accident your insurance will still have to pay. This also will not protect you from towing your car if there is an order to tow your car from your home. If you find your vehicle in the process of being towed, where the car has not been removed from the hitch yet, then the towing company cannot charge more than 50% of the fee. However, if your car has already been unhitched, the total fee will be charged. If you are physically touching your car, they cannot tow your car away. They have to get you safely away from the vehicle in order to take it. However, if the tow company is legally towing your car and have to call the police to get escort you away, you may receive an obstruction ticket.
Can you use a Credit Card to Pay the Towing Bill?
Yes, all towing companies are required by law to accept credit cards as a form of payment.
Remember, every state will have its own towing laws. This guide just covers the general laws that occur across the nation. Be sure to check the laws in the states you are driving in and driving through.
Written by the staff of Tiger Towing in Columbia, MO.